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The government's increasingly desperate attempts to defend their record on the NHS have become less and less credible over the last year. This is partly due to in
creasingly effective local and national campaigns and partly to the crisis in hospitals, primary care and social care has forced more and more of those involved to speak out against the damage being caused by austerity. But many of those who are being damaged have no voice. Poor people, disabled people and the chronically ill have fewer opportunities to make their case as their benefit and treatment rights become eroded. NHS staff are generally gagged in one way or another. Exit can be the only escape leaving the NHS still weaker and now less and less able to recruit staff from overseas.

Large national demonstrations and industrial action by junior doctors, nurses and others have made the strength of feeling around the country quite clear, to the extent that even the Conservatives have got worried enough to promise the outlines of a new financial deal this summer. But will it be too late? Certainly it will be insufficient to undo the damage inflicted since 2010. Meanwhile the stress on services which affect the need for healthcare becomes more and more acute. The unspupported costs of Social Care (which is subject to means tested charges) is driving local authorities to bankruptcy.

Another threat is the developing reorganisation into Integrated Care Systems (previously known as Accountable Care Systems) which threaten to become Accountable Care Organisations. In our local area the Integrated Care System covers Barnsley, Rotherham, Doncaster and Bassetlaw as well as Sheffield. (See posts below.) Increasing pressure from campaig
ners and within the Labour Party is deterring local councils to sign up to these in case they become vehicles for further cuts and privatisation.

Across South Yorkshire resistance is building to the threatened implications of the ICS for local services and South Yorkshire Save Our NHS have formed a political party to stand in the Sheffield City Region Mayoral election on May 3rd 2018. See also Barnsley Save Our NHS.

NHS21END_(Small)NOT KILLED OFF YET. Campaigning does work whether on the streets, in the press or, increasingly in the lawcourts. The government's high-handed tactics are being subjected to an increasing number of judicial reviews. At national level these have forced a public consultation on Accountable Care Organisations starting in May 2018.

Cartoons by Samantha Galbraith @sgalbraith47

For more national information see Health Campaigns Together and Keep Our NHS Public


April 14th 2018 11.45 Regional Demonstration to Save the NHS Leeds

April 25th
Soviet Healthcare via Targets: Are Governments Bringing it into the NHS? Roco 2pm or 7pm

April 28th Sheffield Demonstration against proposed closure of the Minor Injuries and Walk-in Centres (see main website for details)

June 27th The NHS is 70 - but what is its life expectancy? Festival of Debate / SSONHS panel discussion and social. Roco 7pm - 11 pm.

June 30th Health Campaigns Together march for the NHS in London See main wesbite for details.

SSONHS planning and information meetings are generally on the first Monday of the month, except for bank holidays. They are usually at 6pm at the United Reform Church. Chapel Walk/Norfolk St S1

To contact us email


In 2016 abnd 2017 we worked with Sheffield Festival of Debate and other colleagues to promote realistic discussion of the issues facing the NHS. On 4th May 2017 we had a lively meeting debating the future of hospitals and in 2016 we mounted an exhibition on NHS privatisation to coincide with a play, A DUTY OF CARE about Labour and the healthcare market. On 22nd November 2016 we held a panel-led debate on the future of the NHS with local NHS leaders, academics and campaigners. We also held a public meeting on 4th July 2016 to celebrate the NHS anniversary, discuss the STPs, the implications for privatisation in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire and the consequences of the EU referendum result.

In March 2016 we held a successful workshop Taking Back Our NHS

We supported the Junior Doctors throughout their action because we felt they were being unfairly treated and were being treated as the advance guard for Hunt's uncosted, unfunded and misconceived ambition for a 7 day NHS. (For one of our supporter's views at the beginning of the dispute see this column in the Sheffield Star

For our questions to 2017 General Election candidates and canvassers about the NHS see our
website campaign page

2016 8th-22nd November Exhibition on NHS privatisation How come we didn't know by London photographer Marion Macalpine
Theatre Delicatessen, The Moor

22nd November SSONHS Festival of Debate event
Why is the NHS Under so much pressure? How can we save it for future generations?
Speakers included Dr Tim Moorhead, Chair, Sheffield CCG, Kevan Taylor (Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust) and Professor Sarah Salway (University of Sheffield, Public Health) + local campaigners

Taking Back Our NHS SSONHS workshop

Saturday 12th March 2016, 10am - 2pm


Tuesday 22nd September, 7pm screening of Sell Off, attended by well over 100 people.

Campaigning for GP practices at risk of closure

2nd July Successful SSONHS public meeting addressed by Ray Tallis and speakers from Devonshire Green and Unison.

2nd May SSONHS stall in city centre from 11.30 Come and see us.

The 38 degrees ambulance will also be in Surrey Street at 12pm and conveying the 38 degrees petitions to local Hallam candidates at Wesley Hall in Crookes for 3pm.

25th April - March through Sheffield Hallam, with the People's NHS and 38 degrees

28th February 38 degrees petitioning around Sheffield

22nd November Leafleting in Sheffield City Centre from 12.00 pm in support of the NHS strikers. For A5 and A4 copies of the leaflet which has more information on it see the Campaigns Page at our website

24th November NHS picket lines from 7am to 11am. Rallies at the Hallamshire and Northern General (Herries Road) at 10 am.

We were proud to support the Jarrow to London march for the NHS, organised by Darlington Mums passing through Sheffield on August Bank Holiday Monday. Thanks to everyone for helping and joining in.

24th JULY 2014 Public Meeting jointly with Sheffield Medsin

Is our NHS really in crisis? Behind the headlines and soundbites
Panel discussion led by GPs and health experts from the NHS and universities.

For past activities see our website

Friday, 8 May 2015

So the Conservatives won the election ....

Update 3rd June. We're pleased to report a big surge in interest since the election as people want to know how they can resist the threat of a 5 year Tory government both to the NHS and to health in general. Come to our public meeting on 2nd July (7pm Quaker Meeting House) to find out more.

Original Post Well it wasn't because of their policies on the NHS. More a matter of a heavily funded press-backed fear campaign based partly on xenophobia against an opposition which at a national level lacked presence, profile, conviction, narrative and personality. To the myth that Labour were mostly responsible for the banking crisis is now being added the myth that Labour went too far to the left. As if. It made mild moves about taxation, refused - for business reasons - to back an EU referendum and offered little in the way of redistribution - buying into the shirkers smears. Now it will have to regenerate.

What does this mean for the NHS? Well the first thing to recognise is that the national and local campaigns for the NHS have not been wasted. They placed the NHS high (though not high enough)among voter priorities and held at least some of the worst intentions of Lansley's reforms in check. They also forced Cameron to pledge continued funding for the NHS. Now we can expect to see the further reconfigurations of the 5 year Forward View being rolled out along with attempts (which will include cuts) to deal with the immediate funding crisis. One of the most crucial tests will be seeing how the government deals with the likely vast increase in hospital financial 'failures'. Will offers to the private sector be their first solution and is so will the private sector bite? There will need to be significant and prolonged campaigning as has recently begun in Staffordshire, backed by national liaison through organisations such as Keep Our NHS Public (to which SSONHS is at present affiliated). Trades Unions will need to improve the ways they informing the public and canvas support.

At the same time campaigning will have to be well informed. Resisting all changes to hospitals and other services, including transfers of services to community bases, will neither be helpful nor successful. We will have to disentangle all the projected winners and losers from each proposal.

There will also be the question of devolution and whether it will, as in Manchester, include health spending. Local politicians, especially Labour, will need persuading not to accept chalices which contain the poisons of limited funding and limited accountability (national or local) as well as others to be identified.

Health treatment for migrants will also be an issue, with the Tories likely to use this as a pilot for further charges.

Neither Cameron (nor Hunt if he continues) will embark on policies which can be easily branded as the breakdown of the NHS. They will be more subtle building on the the quite widely voiced feeling (including among doctors) that the conditions of a service matter more than who provides it (without seeing how the two are related).

But most importantly of all, the NHS cannot be viewed in isolation. Cameron refused to say where his promised funding of the NHS would come from - and remember it was on top of the £12billion welfare cuts. If he works to a fixed budget, backed by his promised tax lock, all other public services, especially those for the poorest, will suffer worst - thus causing even more of a burden on the NHS. This cannot be allowed to happen - it will not have been this for which people voted - rather that they felt safer under Cameron. Instead they have voted to live on a cliff edge which is being eroded from below. Disasters will undoubtedly follow.

To continue campaigning SSONHS will need more support from all those dismayed at the scale of the Tory triumph and who are rightly fearful of what it will mean for all our services, especially the NHS.

If you are not already a SSONHS supporter and want to be more involved, let us know by emailing We will need people who are willing to get involved all sorts of different ways of trying to protect the NHS, from making sure that the public are aware of what will be planned to getting involved in some of the detailed consultations and engagement we can expect from our local NHS.